In June we lost a NYC legend and national treasure, when photographer Bill Cunningham died at age 87. He lived a modest life, as you can see from his documentary, Bill Cunningham New Yorkbut managed to save some serious coin. He died with a $4 million estate and settling it might be a complicated process, as he had not one but TWO wills.
The rights to Cunningham’s photographs are worth $1 million, based on a filing at New York Surrogate’s Court, as reported by the New York Post. The other $3 million is in bank accounts and insurance policies. It was the Post that discovered Cunningham had dual wills, drawn up in 1993 and 2010.
The first will would have divided Cunningham’s fortune among his now-deceased siblings and his good friend Toni “Suzette” Cimino, a friend who often appeared in his work.
For reasons unknown, the new will excludes the 90-year-old Cimino, leaving the rights to all of Cunningham’s photos and negatives to his niece, Patricia Simonson and it also splits $500,000 evenly between Simonson and the photographer’s four nephews.
Also among the beneficiaries is Louise Doktor, wife of Terry Doktor, whom Cunningham photographed regularly. She stands to inherit $50,000, as well as all of his personal possessions and insurance policies.
As Bill would say,
“Sounds like a mess, kid.“
(via Page 6)